Derby County have appointed Paul Clement as their new head coach on a three-year contract.He replaces Steve McClaren, who was sacked last month after the club finished eighth in the Championship. The 43-year-old has agreed a deal at Pride Park after leaving his role as assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti at Spanish giants Real Madrid. Clement, who served as assistant to Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, will take up his first full managerial role at the iPro Stadium.
Clement had been linked with the vacant Sunderland job but instead will take up the £1m-a-year post in the East Midlands as he tries to return Derby to the Premier League for the first time since 2008. Derby led the Championship in March but a wretched run of form saw them eventually finish eighth and miss out on a play-off place at the end of the recently-completed season. Clement, as the new head coach, will no doubt be expected to succeed where McClaren failed in guiding the Rams back into the top flight for the first time since 2008.
“I’m incredibly excited to be joining Derby County as head coach and I am looking forward to meeting the players and getting started,” Clement said. “This is a massive club with fantastic facilities and a superb fan base who deserve success.
“Having spoken with Sam Rush and the owners I firmly believe we share the same desires and ambitions and that is to once again make Derby County a Premier League club.”
The Londoner began his coaching career with Chelsea in the 1990s and returned to the club in 2007.He started working with the first team under GuusHiddink in 2009 and then became a key figure working with Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris St-Germain and Real.Clement has worked with some of the biggest names in world football including Didier Drogba, ZlatanIbrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo.
It is the first managerial role for Clement, who had been linked with the Sunderland manager’s position following the departure of Dick Advocaat, andDerby chief executive Sam Rush is pleased to have secured his services. He commented: “Paul Clement is one of the most in-demand coaches in world football and I am delighted that he has agreed to join Derby County. Rush was the one who made the decision to remove McClaren following an end-of-season review by the club’s board.
According to Rush, Clement is the perfect appointment at the next stage of Derby County’s development and the club are looking forward to the coming season with a great deal of optimism.